How To Deal With A Dominating Colleague At The Workplace

Sandy Dsouza

When you are employed, not only you have to face daily challenges but also come across individuals of varying personality types. If all the workers get along well, then they can harmoniously contribute to the growth of the company. However, this isn’t a practical situation. Often in a business hierarchy one has to deal with dominant colleagues who exert authority or pressure on junior staff and neglect concerns of others. Such individuals are difficult to deal with and you may find yourself constantly at odds with him/her. Therefore, by asserting your own voice, you must try to nip the issue in the bud before they become too deeply entrenched and affect your productivity at the workplace. Here are a few steps that suggest how to deal with a dominating colleague at your office.

  • Stand up for yourself

Dominant personalities often tend to be bossy without even realizing consequences of their behavior towards others. Hence, when a coworker exercises full control over the situation, stop him/her from interrupting your method of working. It does not mean that you have to address the issue in a combative manner. You can say thank you for their advice and politely explain your working style. This shows you are standing your ground and are confident of achieving certain results.

  • Try to discuss it over coffee

When a dominant coworker recognizes the ability to override you, he/she will not miss a single chance to interfere in your work. At such times, you should directly communicate with the colleague and chat with him/her privately over a cup of coffee. You can clearly talk about things that are affecting you, how the overbearing attitude is obstructing your work productivity and politely request the concerned individual to stop. While doing so, always remember to be calm and not impose accusations on the dominant coworker or it will make the person give less attention to your request and also have a changed attitude towards you in the office.

  • Take help of coworkers

People who have authoritative personality are often harsh, dismissive and tend to call the shots for the simplest tasks without considering the opinion of others. Even if you are aware of a colleague’s abrasive communication style and have now got used to it, you should not be afraid to take appropriate steps when you find the coworker’s behavior offensive or particularly intimidating. Hence, when a colleague crosses the line, always seek help from other coworkers and ask them to step in to resolve the issue. It will remind the dominant colleague that you are working as per the senior’s instructions, and he/she has no say in your decisions or any supervisory power over you.

  • Invoke higher authorities

When the polite requests or personal mails fail to keep the dominant nature of a colleague in check, you can write the next mail by keeping your boss in CC. In this way, you are not only making your problems clear to the boss but also showing official willingness to discuss the issue. You can mention the problems you are facing because of a particular colleague’s behavior and how it is hampering work. For instance, you can cite certain examples of the concerned individual’s intruding nature and its impact on your daily target. At the same time, you can also give suggestions like asking the HR to intervene to resolve the matter or limit your tasks with him/her.

The company’s boss does not have time to address every grievance and might not take these complaints too seriously. At such times, if you think the dominant coworker is constantly overstepping, involve the HR to handle the matter. The HR department exists to resolve conflicting issues among workers, and you should take their help when there is no other choice left. Instead of playing a victim, you must raise your voice against wrongful doings and must always remain proactive in work environment.